Cayce train disaster brings painful Graniteville flashbacks

Updated: Feb. 6, 2018 at 7:11 PM EST
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CAYCE, SC (WIS) - The latest train crash in Cayce is hauntingly familiar for neighbors in Graniteville.

Trains collided in 2005 on tracks in the middle of the small South Carolina community and spilled toxic chlorine gas. Nine people died from the chemical. It's not just the nine names etched in stone on the community monument that evoke painful memories for Graniteville neighbors; the Cayce crash feels familiar to those like Tina Bevington.

The quiet, empty track marks the place where disaster struck.

"It was horrible. I mean, it was devastating. It's almost like living in the middle of a movie that you can't get out of," Bevington said. 

Bevington lived through the collision in 2005 when Norfolk Southern trains hit. She and others remember a panicky feeling of being evacuated. 

"We just threw-we were told we'd be gone but a couple of days. I think we were out of our home nine days," Bevington said.

"Well, it was certainly a surprise. It was 5:30 in the morning, it was dark. It was foggy outside. It was a really weird situation and you weren't expecting it," Colen Lindell said.

Bevington is angered to hear of the latest train wreck in Cayce, especially at the cause. Officials say a switch was left open, allowing the oncoming train onto the same track as another. That's what happened here.

"The biggest thing was to hear that the same problem happened this week that happened 12 years ago, the switch," she said.

Neighbors said it is owed to those who have died in the crashes, to install safeguards to prevent these kinds of errors.

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